Nursing agencies are staffing hospitals at ‘huge cost’ to health-care system, experts say


The article discusses the rising costs of nursing agencies in Canada and the impact on the healthcare system. It highlights the increasing reliance on nursing agencies to fill staffing gaps in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home care settings. The demand for agency nurses has surged due to factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing shortages, and burnout among healthcare workers.

The key takeaways for HR leaders are as follows:

1. Rising Costs: The cost of hiring agency nurses is significantly higher than employing permanent staff. HR leaders need to consider the financial implications of relying on agency nurses and explore ways to reduce these costs.

2. Staffing Shortages: The nursing shortage is a major concern for HR leaders. They need to develop strategies to attract and retain qualified nurses to avoid overreliance on agency staff.

3. Burnout and Retention: HR leaders should prioritize employee well-being and work towards creating a supportive work environment. Addressing burnout and improving retention rates will help reduce the need for agency nurses.

4. Workforce Planning: HR leaders must engage in effective workforce planning to ensure adequate staffing levels and minimize the need for agency nurses. This includes forecasting staffing needs, implementing recruitment strategies, and providing ongoing training and development opportunities.

5. Collaboration: HR leaders should collaborate with healthcare professionals, unions, and government agencies to address the challenges in the healthcare system and find sustainable solutions to reduce reliance on agency nurses.

In conclusion, HR leaders need to address the rising costs of nursing agencies, tackle staffing shortages, prioritize employee well-being, engage in effective workforce planning, and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to improve the overall healthcare system.